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Old 11-11-2014, 08:08 PM   #1
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Parks on Southern California Coast that are mere steps from the sand

We are thinking of taking the RV out for Thanksgiving with our kids. We have a 21' toy hauler and love to drop the back and soak in ocean views while our kiddos play in the sand. Can you suggest any parks that fit that bill?

We hope to maybe stay a couple days around the Santa Barbara area, and then spend several days as far south as San Diego.

Please also let me know if the parks are in a safe part of town, and any booking tips for such last minute (for example, some take reservations as well as lottery or walk-ins.)

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:57 PM   #2
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South of Santa Monica (within the L.A. metroplex), campgrounds that accept RV's are few. But there is one right in the middle of all the tourist stuff...Queen Mary, Long Beach Aquarium, short drive to Disneyland, etc.
Welcome - Golden Shore RV Resort

The OC is pretty much off-limits.

So go south...Here's a couple: San Onofre SB
San Elijo SB

Best luck
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:05 PM   #3
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Parks on Southern California Coast that are mere steps from the sand

Silver Strand State Beach in San Diego is literally right on the sand and water...
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=654
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:21 PM   #4
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Ditto Silver Strand SP. Just south of Coronado and Hotel Del. Right on the Sand. Been upgraded with water an power at the sites. No RV dump. Locked gates at night an SP patrols during the day + a resident RV camp host. During Holidays and busy weekends need reservations an do weekday stays with limits call ahead. Just north is a Navy Seal Training area. Stayed many time and always had a nice visit.

PS Welcome to IRV2 come back for more.
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:43 PM   #5
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Refugio SB about 25 miles north of Santa Barbara is beautiful. We were there two weeks ago in site 27, no hookups or dump station through. Carpinteria SB south of Santa Barbara is also nice. Take a look at Rincon Parkway run by the County of Venture, you park parallel just a few feet from the beach. No reservations $25 a night. I would not stay at San Onofre SB, worst we have stayed at. Between the noise from I-5 and the train that runs between the sites and I-5 you can't hear yourself think. And the beach is nowhere to be seen. San Mateo SB is nice, but it's not near the beach, I think by the trail to the beach it's about one mile. Golden Shores in Long Beach is ok, a long ways from a sandy beach, pricey and they cram them in like sardines. San Elijo SB is one of or favorites along with Refugio SB. I always use Google Earth to check out camp sites I have never been to before.

Refugio SB

Carpinteria SB

Rincon Parkway RV Camping in Ventura County California
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Old 11-11-2014, 11:51 PM   #6
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Thornhill Broome just south of Oxnard is right on the beach. You have to make reservations through Reserve America just like at Refugio.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:36 AM   #7
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A little farther north there are several in the Pismo Beach area. Like Pismo Coast Village. I also agree with chboone.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:42 AM   #8
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Emma Wood State Beach is on the north end of Ventura, there are no hookups but it's literally right on the ocean. We volunteered there, I think it's better than Rincon because you don't have a busy street running through the park. It's safe for you but there are thefts that happen, so bikes & generators must have big chains & locks. The first 10 sites have a lot of sand, the rest mostly have rocks behind them. You can ride your bikes to downtown Ventura or to the Vons Store. No reservations are taken from Sept through May 15, so you must come early for Thanksgiving or New Year's.
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Old 11-13-2014, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missourijan View Post
Emma Wood State Beach is on the north end of Ventura, there are no hookups but it's literally right on the ocean. We volunteered there, I think it's better than Rincon because you don't have a busy street running through the park. It's safe for you but there are thefts that happen, so bikes & generators must have big chains & locks. The first 10 sites have a lot of sand, the rest mostly have rocks behind them. You can ride your bikes to downtown Ventura or to the Vons Store. No reservations are taken from Sept through May 15, so you must come early for Thanksgiving or New Year's.
I have stayed at both - I will only be staying at Rincon from now on. You would think the street would be louder than the 101 up the hill, but it is not. You hear less of the 101 at Rincon and a lot more at Emma.

Also, a little farther north - Jalama Beach is my favorite until you go past Pismo - https://www.countyofsb.org/parks/parks06.aspx?id=9186
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Old 11-13-2014, 02:00 PM   #10
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Doheny State Park in Dana Point.
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Old 11-13-2014, 03:20 PM   #11
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Have never seen that one...

Doheny SB
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:53 PM   #12
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If your into ATV's or sand rails Oceano Dunes SVRA is right on the beach, no hookups. Best to have 4 wheel drive, however many do it with 2 wheel drive and MH's. They just air down drive tires. Probably be packed over thanksgiving, then every place will be.

Oceano Dunes SVRA
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:18 AM   #13
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If you're military..active or retired...try Point Mugu NAS rv park. We live 20 minutes away, but have stayed there often. Private beach, steps from your RV.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:33 AM   #14
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X2 on Rincon, you are right on the water with wonderful views and 5 steps to the sand.

Silver Strand in San Diego is cool too but they usually build a big sand wall in the winter which obstructs your view.
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